Natural and political observations mentioned in a following index, and made upon the bills of mortality by John Graunt ... ; with reference to the government, religion, trade, growth, ayre, diseases, and the several changes of the said city.
Graunt, John, 1620-1674., Petty, William, Sir, 1623-1687.
Page  47

CHHP. VIII. Of the difference between the numbers of Males, and Females.

THe next Observation is, That there be more Males then Females.

There have been Buried from the year 1628, to the year 1662, exclusivè, 209436 Males, and but 190474 Females: but it will be objected, that in London it may indeed be so, though otherwise elsewhere; be∣cause London is the great Stage and Shop of business, wherein the Masculine Sex bears the greatest part. But we Answer, That there have been also Christned within the same time, 139782 Males, and but 130866 Females, and that the Country Accompts are conso∣nant enough to those of London upon this matter.

2. What the Causes hereof are, we shall not trouble our selves to conjecture, as in other Cases, onely we shall desire, that Travellers would enquire whether it be the same in other Countries.

3. We should have given an Accompt, how in eve∣ry Age these proportions change here, but that we have Bills of distinction but for 32 years, so that we shall pass from hence to some inferences from this Conclusion; as first,

I. That Christian Religion, prohibiting Polyga∣my, is more agreeable to the Law of Nature, that is, the Law of God, then Mahumetism, and others, that Page  48 allow it; for one man his having many women, or wives by Law, signifies nothing, unless there were many women to one man in Nature also.

II. The obvious Objection hereunto is, That one Horse, Bull, or Ram, having each of them many Females, do promote increase. To which I Answer, That although perhaps there be naturally, even of these species, more Males then Females, yet artificially, that is, by making Geldings, Oxen, and Weathers, there are fewer. From whence it will follow, That when by experience it is found how many Ews (suppose twenty) one Ram will serve, we may know what proportion of male-Lambs to castrate, or geld, viz. nineteen, or thereabouts: for if you emasculate fewer, viz. but ten, you shall by promiscuous copulation of each of those ten with two Females, (in such as ad∣mit the Male after conception) hinder the increase so far, as the admittance of two Males will do it: but, if you castrate none at all, it is highly probable, that every of the twenty Males copulating with eve∣ry of the twenty Females, there will be little, or no conception in any of them all.

III. And this I take to be the truest Reason, why Foxes, Wolves, and other Vermin Animals that are not gelt, increase not faster then Sheep, when as so ma∣ny thousands of these are daily Butchered, and very few of the other die otherwise then of themselves.

4. We have hitherto said there are more Males, then Females; we say next, That the one exceed the other by about a thirteenth part; so that although more men die violent deaths then women, that is, more are slain in Wars, killed by mischance, drownedPage  49 at Sea, and die by the Hand of Justice. Moreover, more men go to Colonies, and travel into foreign parts, then women. And lastly, more remain un∣married, then of women, as Fellows of Colleges, and Apprentises, above eighteen, &c. yet the said thir∣teenth part difference bringeth the business but to such a pass, that every woman may have an Hus∣band, without the allowance of Polygamy.

5. Moreover, although a man be Prolifique fourty years, and a woman but five and twenty, which makes the Males to be as 560 to 325 Females, yet the causes above named, and the later marriage of the men, reduce all to an equality.

6. It appearing, that there were fourteen men to thirteen women, and that they die in the same pro∣portion also, yet I have heard Physicians say, that they have two women Patients to one man, which Asser∣tion seems very likely; for that women have either the Green-sickness, or other like Distempers, are sick of Breedings, Abortions, Child-bearing, Sore-breasts, Whites, Obstructions, Fits of the Mother, and the like.

7. Now, from this it should follow, that more women should die then men, if the number of Bu∣rials answered in proportion to that of Sicknesses: but this must be salved, either by the alledging, that the Physicians cure those Sicknesses, so as few more die, then if none were sick; or else that men, being more intemperate then women, die as much by rea∣son of their Vices, as the women do by the Infir∣mitie of their Sex, and consequently, more Males being born, then Females, more also die.

8. In the year 1642 many Males went out of Page  50London into the Wars then beginning, in so much, as I expected in the succeeding year, 1643, to have found the Burials of Females to have exceed∣ed those of Males, but no alteration appeared; for as much, as I suppose, Trading continuing the same in London, all those who lost their Apprentices had others out of the Countrey; and if any left their Trades, or Shops, that others forthwith succeeded them: for if employment for hands remain the same, no doubt but the number of them could not long continue in disproportion.

9. Another pregnant Argument to the same pur∣pose (which hath already been touched on) is, That although in the very year of the Plague, the Christ∣nings decreased, by the dying and flying of Teeming-women, yet the very next year after, they increased somewhat, but the second after, to as full a num∣ber as in the second year before the said Plague: for I say again, if there be encouragement for an hundred in London, that is, a Way how an hundred may live better then in the Countrey, and if there be void housing there to receive them, the evacu∣ating of a ¼th, or ⅓ part of that number, must soon be supplied out of the Countrey; so as, the great Plague doth not lessen the Inhabitants of the City, but of the Countrey, who in a short time re∣move themselves from hence thither, so long, un∣till the City for want of receit and encouragement, regurgitates and sends them back.

10. From the difference between Males and Fe∣males, we see the reason of making Eunuchs in those places where Polygamy is allowed, the latter being Page  51 useless as to multiplication, without the former, as was said before in the case of Sheep and other Ani∣mals, usually gelt in these Countries.

11. By consequence, this practise of Castracon serves as well to promote increase as to meliorate the Flesh of those Beasts that suffer it. For that Ope∣ration is equally practised upon Horses which are not used for Food, as upon those that are.

12. In Popish Countries where Polygamy is forbid∣den, if a greater number of Males oblige themselves to Caelibate then the natural overplus or difference be∣tween them and Females amounts unto; then multi∣plication is hindred; for if there be eight Men to ten Women, all of which eight men are married to eight of the ten Women, then the other two bear no Chil∣dren, as either admitting no Man at all, or else ad∣mitting Men as Whores (that is more then one) which commonly procreates no more then if none at all had been used: or else such unlawfull Copulati∣ons beget Conceptions but to frustrate them by pro∣cured Abortions or secret Murthers, all which returns to the same reckoning. Now, if the same proporti∣on of women oblige themselves to a single life like-wise, then such obligation makes no change in this matter of encrease.

13. From what hath been said, appears the reason why the Law is, and ought to be so strict against For∣nications and Adulteries, for if there were universal liberty, the Increase of Man-kind would be but like that of Foxes at best.

14. Now forasmuch as Princes are not only Powerfull but Rich, according to the number of Page  52 their People (Hands being the Father, as Lands are the Mother, and Womb of Wealth) it is no wonder why states by encouraging Marriage, and hinder∣ing Licentiousness, advance their own Interest, as well as preserve the Laws of God from contempt, and Violation.

15. It is a Blessing to Man-kind, that by this over∣plus of Males there is this natural Bar to Polygamy: for in such a state Women could not live in that parity, and equality of expence with their Husbands, as now, and here they do.

16. The reason whereof is, not, that the Husband cannot maintain as splendidly three, as one; for he might, having three Wives, live himself upon a quarter of his Income, that is in a parity with all three, as-well as, having but one, live in the same parity at half with her alone: but rather, because that to keep them all quiet with each other, and himself, he must keep them all in greater aw, and less splendor, which power he having will probably use it to keep them all as low, as he pleases, and at no more cost then makes for his own pleasure; the poorest Subjects (such as this plurality of Wives must be) being most easily governed.